Utrecht is a really amazing city about 40 minutes outside of Amsterdam. Besides the colossal Dom tower in the center of the city which is the tallest in the Netherlands, there are numerous canals and shopping streets to explore. There are several gardens around the towers that are worth exploring.
One obvious blight is Utrecht’s Central Station. This monstrosity connects to the city center via a giant ugly Mall that pretty much erodes all historical character in the area. Going through this mall you can manage to skip large chunks of the city. Luckily it seems there are plans to change this “brutalist” style building and bring back some character to central Utrecht.